Private Servers for PvP… That Totally Makes Sense… To Somebody

Guild Wars 2, one of my potential 2011 games, now *seems* slated for some time in 2012.

No big deal.

These things happen.  The same goes for TERA as I understand it.

So with that release still somewhere over the horizon for me, I haven’t been paying too much attention to news and updates about the game.

space bar... space bar!

Still love this logo…

I did, however, see a ripple last week on Twitter about something somebody somewhere said about Guild Wars 2 offering private servers of some sort.

This, of course, caused a small stir, filled with both hate and warm fuzzies.  My own though was perhaps this would be something of an “our world” option for you and your buddies.  Guild Wars is mostly instanced, so maybe this might make sense in the context of Guild Wars 2.

Eventually, ArenaNet offered up  a clarification on the subject:

In the interview he mentioned that we are considering allowing players to “create” their own PvP servers, it is not for certain. And we never mentioned anything about “private PvE server” – that is something we will definitely not do.

This made my brain do a rapid left turn.  And not just because “create” is in quotes.  What does “that” mean?

Isn’t PvP the most social (or anti-social, if you look at it from the other end) aspect of a game?  Isn’t that the part that lives and dies on your getting as many players as possible involved?  Wouldn’t that be the worst aspect of the game to split off into individual servers?

Okay, yes, I do not know thing one about Guild Wars 2 PvP… or even Guild Wars PvP for that matter… so maybe it totally makes sense.  Maybe that is the completely logical position, a step in the right direction.

But when I read tidbits like this…

Guild Wars 2 will feature “World PvP”, large scale combat taking place in a persistent world, with players able to drop in and out “on the fly”. Players will be able to join this worldwide PvP battle in a variety of roles, with rewards commensurate with their success.

it makes me go “hmmm?”

Meanwhile, the PvE aspect of the game… and my impressions are from Guild Wars, with which I am mildly familiar, owning three of the four game boxes… seems like it might be a candidate for private servers.

Or maybe not.

If it is anything like Guild Wars, the game will be heavily instanced and players will already have private instances, so who would ever need a private server.

Anyway, the depth of my ignorance on the subject is as yet unplumbed.  I am sure somebody out there can explain why ArenaNet would even bring up the topic of private servers.

Unless they are going to offer a “run your own” server kit, thus taking load off of their data center, I cannot see any real benefit in the idea.   #notwinning

19 thoughts on “Private Servers for PvP… That Totally Makes Sense… To Somebody

  1. Stabs

    I can see a clan wanting a private space to test stuff. In preparing for the Alliance Tournament some teams play on the Test Server in wormholes to get away from observers.

    Thumbs up from me. It’s innovative. I can see lots of applications for a private realm. Imagine a WOW RP realm where you can permaban people who try to spoil it.

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  2. Docholiday

    To me this is one of those innovative things that could either go really well (like Stabs mentions above) or horribly wrong.

    Another possibility I could see being interesting would be to use this as a way to do contained guild matches or something like that, which could be intriguing.

    But then again, I’m quite like you in that I’m not really following GW2, but the concept was interesting to say the least.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Part of me totally grabs onto the private server idea. A decade back I was an initiated and paying of an FPS focused gaming clan that ran a couple of public servers, a private training server, and a special match server for league play.

    But that was also in a world where the game company gave you the server software because they were making money on box sales along with a small kick back from the server rental companies.

    Guild Wars 2 seems in a better position to offer this that, say, WoW, lacking the whole monthly subscription thing. But I have to think they also have a line item with the title “cash shop revenue” in their projected budget.

    And the private role playing domain sounds to me like the most logical area for this to go, which is exactly the aspect they explicitly said they wouldn’t support.

    This is one of those things where the more I think about it, the more questions arise.

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  4. Randomessa

    There are two types of PvP in GW2: instanced, hot-joinable arena/tournament style PvP where everyone is scaled up to max level, stats, and gear, and large-scale WvWvW PvP which is more come-as-you-are casual style with server buffs and two-week long battles.

    The private server thing is for the former.

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  5. coppertopper

    Did a quick peak at Arenanet’s website about the release date. I always doubted a 2011 release, but where did you hear about it being confirmed for 2012?

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  6. Randomessa

    Also, no, Guild Wars 2 wil not be heavily instanced like the first. Only dungeons and some aspects of the personal storyline wil be instanced; the rest of the world will be open to explore and meet up with other players.

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  7. Randomessa

    Yes, Dril, it’s exactly like other things, except for the differences between it and those other things.

    I know you’re pissed off because for some reason you feel GW2 has told you they’ve invented everything anew instead of taking features from more sources than just other MMOs and tweaking them (which is what makes their features seem newer than most, but not omg never-before-seen), but aside from your claiming this everywhere, I’ve yet to see this from the actual source.

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  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @coppertopper – Well, I read this on their FAQ

    We will be conducting small closed alpha and beta tests in 2011

    And while it does not preclude a 2011 ship date, it sure sounds like things have moved to 2012. I probably stated that date estimate too strongly in the post. I hadn’t had my tea yet and I was giddy with hyperbole I guess. I’ll change that.

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  9. coppertopper

    ok – saw that as well and came to the same conclusion, but would love for this to release about a month after Skyrim.

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  10. Dril

    @Randomessa

    And you go out of your way to defend GW2 whenever it’s brought up. Problem?

    You’ll notice I said “falsely praised,” not that ANet themselves are lying (they’re just hyperbolic). What I am actually pissed of with that seemingly every single thing ANet announces is somehow a mind-bending extravaganza in the eyes of the community and then it’s IMMEDIATELY linked to how GW2 is going to “destroy/kill/pwn game X.”

    Rabid fanboiism for an unreleased, untested game is grating. I know my cynicism offends your deep love for this title, but I remain utterly unconvinced by this game and its pre-launch community.

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  11. Randomessa

    You’re right, I hang out in places where I like the subject being discussed. You seem to hang out where things annoy you. What can I say, you’re either a masochist or an even rarer specimen than that. You fascinate me. And please don’t give me the cynicism line. Cynicism doesn’t draw you to hunt out GW2 articles and… what, warn people off of it? Please.

    You keep citing this rabid fan delusional hysteria – which I’m sure exists, somewhere – yet it never exists in the threads you’re posting in. Like this one, or even the links cited. One of my bylines is, people should try having the argument that is actually going in, instead of the one being had elsewhere. You think fans are being hysterical, challenge them where it’s actually happening.

    You want to come to my blog and be cynical (so as to avoid cluttering Wilhelm’s blog), please be my guest. Challenge me on my hysteria and messiah complex and my false notions about GW2 there. You will see that I never call names and always cite my sources, will never assert what I don’t know and will always get back to you with more info if need be.

    Drive by posts erecting strawmen to knock down and calling it cynicsm, however, is both petty and obvious.

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  12. qalice

    See here:

    This is an example of creating private “PvP servers”. The term is used in the same meaning as in Team Fortress 2 and is more close to “creating a PvP match” or “custom game” than to actually running a server (shard, world) in the MMO sense.

    so… :) not what u are thinking i’m afraid

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  13. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Qalice – So they are just mis-using the word “server” like so many who have gone before them. Ah well.

    I seem to recall something like that coming up around LOTRO way back when. It also ended up being a case of “The word you are looking for is ‘instance’ and not ‘server.'”

    @Radomessa – Oh, don’t mind me. Often it seems like just me, Bhagpuss, Potshot, and my mom around here. Usually I have to come up with an EVE Online feature request to get anybody really going.

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  14. Dril

    @Wilhelm

    I’ll leave your EVE articles in peace.

    I promise!

    @Randomessa

    I actually do (shockingly) post positive things sometimes. It’s just that if I *agree* with something I don’t generally post just to say “I agree” unless there’s some particular issue to elaborate, because it’s not interesting, or unless I do feel strongly about agreeing.

    Interesting, then, that you ignored your own byline in your initial response to my point.

    You’re actually not a blind fanatic – you just can’t let anything about GW2 go unanswered. I was more referring to the people who infest most MMO sites, but feel free to take personal offence if it vindicates your response.

    If you want to continue this, be outside the church at dawn with a Top Trumps pack. We’ll settle things there.

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  15. Randomessa

    @ Dril, my quarrell is here, with you, now, in direct response to your initial post. Past behavior is relevant when the person in question is present to defend themselves and address the charges. But do feel free to continue to take slights accumulated on other fora out on every GW2 post created ever. Or is that every other post, since you say you are occasionally positive (must be the same places the delusional fans are)?

    What I cannot abide is misinformation about GW2 being disseminated, since so few know the nuts and bolts (and are this likely to be swayed by your constant claims that some fans, somewhere, are claiming things about GW2 that are untrue). I would respect your claimed desire to respond to untruths more if you actually did it – for example, in this very thread you have not debunked anything claimed in this thread, yet felt (strongly?) the need to clear up the fact that WoW has this feature, only different. Which nobody said wasn’t true.

    I actually enjoy calling you out on your behavior because it makes you rationalize it instead of leaving charmingly ascerbic and flippant quips. I suspect you’re not actually as cynical as you claim to be, but you have a reputation to uphold. I understand; I won’t tell.

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  16. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    “Top Trumps is the world’s number 1 card game. If you hadn’t heard of it before, you have now. Top Trumps sells over 10 million packs around the world every year. This simple card game has become ice-cool among children from Canberra to Calgary and from Norway to Niagara.”

    From their Canadian site.

    I hadn’t heard of them either. But the only card games I ever really played involve the standard 52 card, 4 suit deck we all know and love.

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  17. Yarr

    My understanding of what ArenaNet is doing is similar to qalice above:

    Players will be able to set up a virtual PvP server (using ArenaNet’s hardware and network), but tailored with options, rules and possibly even customizable buildings and such. I assume this might be guild oriented, but maybe anyone will be able to design something and make it available for everyone to play. Setup your options, invite friends or strangers, PvP setup how you want when you want.

    GW1’s excellent instancing technology would be a natural fit for that along with arena PvP and instanced dungeons, and home area; while GW2’s PvE and WxWxW PvP huge persistent areas will be handled differently.

    I never read things as setting up actual private servers you run off your own hardware. That just doesn’t make any kind of sense when ArenaNet isn’t charging a monthly fee for GW2. Connecting to their much faster systems and hardware would always be vastly better. Look how much lag and weirdness you get using player run servers on even simple graphics games like Minecraft and Terraria, something like a GW2 server would be a total mess on consumer-crippled internet connections, at least here in the USA.

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